By HUXLEY LOVAI
MOROBE Hammerheads captain Max Vali led by example scoring two of his team’s four tries in their 26-17 victory over a feisty Stallions from Rabaul in the cup final of the Export National Provincial Championships Sevens.
The Hammerheads retained the NPC 7s title with the win under lights at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, Port Moresby, on Saturday.
The Morobeans proved their sevens mettel knocking over the likes of the Kimbe Rebels and Black Orchids on their way to the final.
The cup final between featured two evenly matched teams.
Both sides had players with pace and power along with defensive grit.
The Stallions were the first to post points in the final after a converted try after a minute and half of play.
Depite the Stallions threatening to score again the Hammerheads muscled up on defence to hold them back.
Brilliant passing from the Morobe men found Beno Palasi in space to post their first try to tie up the scores at 7-7 after four minutes of play.
Another converted try to Hammerhead’s Jason Pitbeng doubled their advantage, despite a late first half try to Stallions which was unconverted the Hammerheads went into the half time break leading 14-12.
The second half was just as close as the opening frame as both sides had their chances but it was the composed and patient pressure of the Hammerheads that got them over the line.
Leading from the front was skipper Vali, who scored two tries in the second stanza through his supporting play to help Morobe retain the NPC 7s crown.
The Stallions could only manage one try in the second half due to handling errors and the Hammerheads determined defence.
Hammerheads captain Max Vali praised the efforts and the players and team management over the two day tournament.
“This year I only had one day training with the boys in Lae, because I had to leave to come Moresby to train with the national side,” Vali said.
“When they arrived in Moresby I joined them. And I thank the team for having the trust in me to lead them on the field.
“I’m so thankful to the boys for their attitude and determination throughout the two days, and we have won because of that.” Vali said
By HUXLEY LOVAI